Why I’m a Writer Who Doesn’t Read

By In Life How To's, Lifestyle — August 03, 2018
Writer Who Doesn't Read

I like YouTube. A lot. If YouTube was a person, I’d be its biggest fangirl. If YouTube was single, I’d like to be reduced to a piece of code so I could have a chance at winning the beating hearts of its servers. Thus, I watch YouTube excessively. More than reading (see Romance and Illness: A Match Made in Hades).

Someone recently requested I write a post about what I read. Being a nerd, one would think I’d be reading fantasy and sci-fi novels on repeat. Like pop culture junkies listen to Beyonce’s “Lemonade” on repeat. I used to like reading, but it has gotten a lot harder (see Losing My Mind: How My Disease Changed My Brain).

I used to love reading nonfiction. Textbooks. Books on wildlife. Academic journals. The whole nerd package. I always wanted my reading to be “productive” and give me nuggets of information I could use later down the road. Thus, I avoided fiction, because I didn’t view it as “productive.” But you do you. Fiction teaches so much through the power of story and parable. Don’t dox me, bro.

How is my obsession with YouTube “productive?” Glad you asked. It’s productive because it gives methe information I need and want. Without reading. I can’t read much because it exhausts me. My brain uses up too much power on trying to figure out what those little marks on the page mean.

I went a day without electronics a couple weeks ago. I ended up reading for about 4 hours of the day. I was so tired after that, I fell asleep at 6 p.m. and didn’t wake up until 8 a.m. The “strain” of reading is too much for my brain noodles. So, I receive my information from instructional and documentary videos on YouTube. Plus, podcasts. Nerd.

The great thing about these mediums is I get a story along with the specific information I need. A real life story. Not fiction. I absorb the creations of vloggers and YouTubers for inspiration. It’s a passive way of learning, requiring less effort for my brain to knit together the details. Then, with the rest of my energy, I can create my own things. Sketching, writing, and editing have my heart. Just about 8% of my heart though. The rest of that room is for YouTube.

I still do some reading. Most of which is reading my Bible. I read some articles. Mostly “how to” articles. I’m also doing some theological reading for the ministry school I attend online. However, I’m a bit ashamed to say that I don’t prioritize these mediums. I prioritize having conversations with God about the tough questions of life. I prioritize writing smart arse blog posts about my lived experiences. I prioritize cuddling with my cat for unhealthy amounts of time.

The next natural question would be how I write without reading. Afterall, a person can’t learn cinematography without watching movies. I definitely write better when I’m reading academic journals. I also write with more wit when I’m reading satirical works. But, I’m doing my best with my current capabilities. The Bible gives plenty of deep meat to mull over and discuss in detail. I’m also enjoying a book from my theological reading called “Courage and Calling” by Gordan T. Smith. READ IT.

So, do I read? Kind of. I kind of read. However, whenever I read, I also feel like I’m cheating on my true love: YouTube.

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